NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has softened his stance on kneeling during the national anthem this offseason—admitting he was wrong on past actions—but he did not mention Colin Kaepernick by name in his June message on race:
An anonymous agent ripped Goodell in a survey by Ben Standig of The Athletic:
"I think that (commissioner) Roger Goodell, I don't want to say bulls--t, but when he gave the most conciliatory message on Black Lives Matter the other day. I've never seen him capitulate on anything like that. Having said that, he didn't mention Colin Kaepernick’s name. That's kind of bulls--t since he endorsed that players can kneel going forward. I think he kind of did, but I'm not sure it's kind of unclear, murky kind of bulls--t. That’s what I'm thinking."
Goodell's video came after several superstars, including Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, teamed up to send the league a message:
They asked the NFL to "admit wrong in silencing our players from peacefully protesting."
In 2018, the league instituted a new anthem policy that required players and team personnel to stand or remain in the locker room.
Kaepernick has gone unsigned for the past three seasons after kneeling during the national anthem in protest against police brutality and racial injustice in 2016.
The NFL settled with the quarterback and safety Eric Reid over a collusion complaint in 2019.
Kaepernick remains a free agent, though the commissioner said he would encourage a team to sign the 32-year-old.
"If he wants to resume his career in the NFL, then obviously it's going to take a team to make that decision," Goodell said in June, via ESPN. "But I welcome that, support a club making that decision and encourage them to do that."